Criminal Justice Reform/War on Drugs
In 1974, President Richard Nixon started a war, a War on Drugs. And we know the drug war has created staggering racial disparities.
- African Americans and Latinos use and sell drugs at similar rates to white people. But they’re disproportionately targeted for arrest and punished more harshly. The result?
The Federal Bureau of Prisons is operating at nearly 140% capacity, costing $7 billion a year. Half the people locked up are there for nothing more than a drug law violation. 2/3 women are there for nonviolent drug offenses. Most are mothers.
When the Drug Enforcement Agency started it had 1,500 employees. Today there are nearly 10,000. Their budget grew from $75 million to more than $2 billion. And guess what? The War on Drugs is a colossal failure. There are more people dying from drugs today than ever before, and drugs are easier to get. My campaign will call for eliminating the Drug Enforcement Agency and ending the War on Drugs.
Don’t Spy On Me/Fourth Amendment
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall be issued, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the person or things to be seized.
~ 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution ~
The 4th Amendment is critically important. Today, many federal government agencies routinely ignore it and have no qualms about spying on American citizens. Examples abound: the IRS targeting Tea Party organizations, the FBI illegally spying upon political opponents, and the revelations of NSA spying on Americans.
All of these actions represent an unConstitutional violation of our liberties. These agencies should be investigated and held responsible for their actions.
Gun Rights/Second Amendment
The Founding Fathers established the Second Amendment to preserve our liberties against tyrannical government. And while I personally conceal and carry and am a Life Member of the NRA, I have concerns, but they are not “bump stocks” and AR15s.
For voters concerned about gun violence, I too share this concern. Of the 38,000 gun related deaths in 2016, 25,000+ are suicides by mostly white men, age 25-65. Black on black violence contributes to an additional 8,000 gun related deaths annually. Combined, these statistics represent over 87% of the gun related deaths in America.
If we desire to reduce gun violence in America, we must address medical depression and we must end the failed War on Drugs policy that is a cause of violence in urban areas. As Senator, I will call for an end to the War on Drugs, and the elimination of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). This will help drive down black on black violence, and ultimately save lives. Regarding depression and other causes of suicide, this is an area that is best left to families, specialized non-profit organizations and the medical profession to treat.